SA home invasions have increased by 8.5%
Practical and inexpensive ways to burglar proof your home this festive season
The festive season is nearly upon us and during this time we usually leave our homes to visit family in other locations or simply go on vacation with our loved ones. The COVID-19 pandemic had us all cooped up in our residences for the most part of this year due to the nationwide lockdown. Now that we are at level 1 of the national lockdown, the restrictions allow for more freedom of movement and many South Africans will take advantage of this during this festive season.
Two weeks ago, Police Minister Bheki Cele released the crime statistics for July to September and according to the minister home robberies are among the most feared crimes in the country and they are rising. “While many citizens are still working from home due to the nationwide lockdown, incidents of home invasions have increased by 8.5%. On the other hand, cases of business robberies have declined by the same percentage.” said the Minister of Police.
During the weekend of the 20th of November 2020, a story of about a home robbery involving a women from Hout Bay, Cape Town made headlines after four men broke into her while she, a friend and her toddler were inside the house. The lady chose to remain anonymous for the safety of her and her child’s lives “I was in the lounge with a girl friend of mine and we were painting our nails, then pretty shockingly, the sliding door slid open and four guys walked in with guns and knives and pangas and screwdrivers. We jumped up and screamed. We had no idea what was going to happen next. They quieted us down and said they weren’t there to hurt us, just to get what they wanted.” she said.
According to Week Argus, just a week after her home was, the same men returned to the property to rob another home on the premises. Coming home to discover that someone has broken in and stole your possessions is a horrible feeling and one that no one should go through. This article seeks to provide you with some inexpensive tips to burglar-proof your property without a security system this festive season.
- Beware of the dog – Put a dog sign on the gate whether you have one or not because dogs are a great deterrent. This can discourage a potential burglar from entering your home.
- Embrace your noisy entrances – Do not grease your noisy entrances such your gate, front/back doors, and the garage door. You are going to need them to remain squeaky if you are leaving your home this December because, the unexpected noise will deter a burglar and alert the dogs in the neighbourhood.
- Sliding doors – Sliding doors often require extra security because they can be forced open easily. Wedging a piece of pipe in the track will prevent the door from opening even if it is being forced.
- Smoke screen driveway – Ask your neighbours to park on your driveway or in front of your gate during the day, this will minimise the assumption that nobody’s home. You can encourage your closest neighbours to take turns doing this.
- Think before you post – Although this may not be the coolest thing to say, but it is advisable to not post your holiday pictures and videos while you are away or announce your plans on social media because you do not know who is monitoring your movement. Save the social media posts until you get back.
- I hear voices – You can leave your television on a timer so that it looks like you are home, watching a movie in the evening. Alternatively, you can leave a radio on, burglars will assume somebody is home if they hear the noise indoors.
- Put up an alarm/security company sign – Alarms systems are expensive and so is paying for the monthly service contract that come with them. Keep an eye out for neighbours who are moving out, that has a burglar alarm service. Ask them if you may have their sign and display it on your front yard as you have seen such signs displayed at other homes.
- Remove Shrubbery – Shrubs provide burglars with the best cover. Removing shrubs minimises the number of places which a burglar can hide while looking for a way to enter your home.
- Befriend the neighbourhood busy-body – Every neighbourhood has that one person who has the 411 on everybody’s life in the neighbourhood. They are a great deterrent to crime because they will be able to notify other neighbours that there is a burglary going on at your place or describe the criminal to the police. When you find someone like this, you should encourage them to spend a lot of time looking what is going on at your house from their homes.
Securing your home does not have to cost a fortune. It just requires us to be practical. And just because your home is secured it does not mean your house will not be targeted or broken into, it simply just reduces the chances of home being targeted or broken into.